the gregarious homebody

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Dear Mommy,

       If you were here today, there is so much that I would want to say to you.  I don't think we'd ever stop talking.  Some of it is pretty mundane stuff, like I would want to tell you that I could indeed train not only one puppy myself but two because yes I DID have enough patience.  

And I would want  to tell you that I don't live in a teeny little house that you have to walk through my bedroom to get to the baby's room anymore but instead have a medium house that I've "decorated" with stuff I love and I think you would love.  

Not mentioned in the letter below: it was okay to NOT breastfeed.  Thanks, Mommy!

I would tell you that I'm back in school and then you would say

And then I would tell you that so far I have a 4.0 but I'm really afraid of this coming semester because I have to take Statistics.  And then YOU would say that you don't know where I got my math ineptitude because both you and my father are very good at it but you're really really proud anyway.

And then we would talk about gardening and the kids and the husband and whatever we'd read recently or watched on tv.  We would just chatter and say "I really should go" and then either talk a 1/2 hour longer or hang up and call right back with "just one more thing."

I would do nothing except maybe kill someone in order to have these every-day, whatever kind of conversations with you.  But I'd really consider homicide if I thought I could talk to you about one thing---raising a daughter.

You always said that you would rather raise 10 girls than even one boy again not because I was such an angel but because those boys in our house were, ahem, a handful.  But I could be an emotional handful too.  So here's what I would say to you if I could:

I don't even know where to start with this.  
I grew into my forehead since then but came to understand that
bangs are my friends.

  • Thank you for telling me I was beautiful even though there were times I was definitely not (see above) and never making me think you didn't mean it.  Now I know that you actually did mean it because a mom can look through the tell-tale awkward phase and see the girl within.  Most of the time (see below). 

  • I'm sorry for that time at the mall when I walked 6 feet in front of you so no one would think I was with you.  I remember you telling me how much that hurt you and now I can safely say that I feel your pain. 

  • Thank you for putting up with other inexplicable moods that had nothing to do with you but were nonetheless aimed at you.  And having the where-with-all to photograph it because I laugh/cringe every time I come across it.  By the way, I also forgive you for allowing me to have that hair.  
That, my friends, is a PUSS on my face.  I was going sailing and my mom MADE ME.  Poor thing.
  •  Thanks for giving me a lot of freedom.  I know some of this "giving" was actually exhaustion on some level (reread the part about the boys in my family, above), but still.  It's hard to send a kid out there and to let them spread those wings.  And when there's a car involved I really have to hand it to you.  But, speaking of cars, I also thank you for having the smarts to know that teaching me to drive would probably cause damage to our already tenuous-at-the-time relationship and hiring a driving teacher.  Smart. 

This picture was taken right after I got my license and right before I left for the four
hour drive to Penn State. Without a cell phone. I just got my license. Get it??!!

  • Thanks for letting me buy a $200 dress for the prom because it was the only one I really liked and you thought it was awesome too.  Now, in retrospect, and with my current shopping experiences with my daughter I realize that writing out that $200 check might have been exhaustion too. But thanks anyway.  I felt like a very hot Minnie Mouse. 

                                                                                          It was the 80's alright?  And this dress still rocks.
  • Most of all, I would thank you for sticking it out with me.  I think you knew we'd be back to being close, that I would no longer wage that battle within myself of needing you and hating you for it but instead just needing you and liking you again.  You told me that age 12 to 17 were a little rough but that even though you sometimes didn't like me, you knew you would again.   


  • Lastly, I would tell you that I wish you could come back here for at least the next 5 years to remind me that even though my daughter will probably bruise my heart like I did yours, we'll be more than fine in the end.


Annette said...

I could have written this Jen. I lost my mother just four months after Hayley was born. It's hard at times to raise a daughter. How I wish, like you, I had her to talk to, to help me, and just to love me when I'm feeling so unappreciated! Nothing replaces a mother's love.

jen said...

You said it, Annette.

mamacita said...

Just checking in to say hey. And now I'm going to call my mom.

The Handsome Husband said...

good girl. Do it while you can.

Rovianne said...

That was really beautiful Jen. Thanks for sharing.

Miss Buncle said...

oh Jen.....

Bea @ CancunCookies said...

This post touched my heart, Jen... I have, and always had, a great relation with my Mom, but not my oldest daughter, and felt really hurt and unappreciated... many times I've thought it's something I'm doing wrong... now I'll just wish that we'll come to be close somewhere after she is not a teen...

Patient Bint said...

This is a beautiful post, thank you for sharing your gorgeous words and the memories of your mum. I'm 33 and I swear my mother still considers this the "awkward" phase.
THanks again for sharing

F x


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